Arsenal v. West Ham Pre-Report: It’s goal scoring time

By Charles Belle

Our Mighty Gunners are rocking and rolling in their last couple of matches scoring 5 goals and giving up 1.  Even the English media, always so anti-Arsenal has begun to come around.  It’s not just the number of goals being scored, it’s the depth of the squad and new players taking hold of the reins.  Every game the team gets better with the Rise of Nasri, Chamakh’s instant impact, Walcott’s new “footballing brain” and Fabianski finally taking control of the Posts.  To top it off, Arsenal also has the new golden boy of English footie in little Jack Wilshere.  Forget the other team, Arsenal has so much talent now we compete with ourselves on the pitch.  Unfortunately, for them, the poultry of West “Ham” have to face us this Saturday at Emirates.  Bottom of the table and coming off an OT win in the Carling Cup, the Hammies will be tired and under qualified for this match.  Gooners: commence hand rubbing with glee for an Arsenal goal scoring training session.  6-0 to the boys in N5.

Normally Arsenal fans are scared to get over confident.  I’m done with that.  I like this team.  We have immense talent and depth.  This is our year.  With the goalkeeper situation apparently figured out, the defense is calming down, even with the injuries.  The midfield and front line are also beginning to get into a groove as Nasri  has begun to take over from the gap left by RVP in the forward positions.  Arshavin might not be having the best of days, weeks, months or even year, but Walcott’s F1 explosion this season has made even Arshavin’s poor start less painful.  The final bit of frosting on our Arsenal cake?  Rambo returns soon!  But lets not get ahead of ourselves, back to the game against the Pork.

Forwards

Bendtner and Walcott are back with a vengeance giving the frontline loads of weapons.  Since his return, Bendtner has looked really sharp, scoring quality goals in each of the two games he’s played in.  Not to be outdone,  Walcott’s brace against Newcastle showed his start to the season was no fluke, the kid is on fire!

With those two in form, I expect some rotation, especially against relegation zone Ham team and Champions League football returning soon.  I think Arsene will rotate a little bit and give Bendtner the start, if only to keep Chamakh healthy for the season.  Arsene hasn’t given up on Arshavin either, so Walcott won’t start, although I hope he does.

Nasir has cemented his place in the lineup and will start.  He and Fab are finally starting to click.  Don’t stop that now.

Midfield

It was a bit odd to see Fab run onto the game as a substitute against Newcastle when we were already up.  One can only wonder what was going on, but it might just have been to give Fab another game to get into a groove -that penalty kick against $iteh was horrid.  Anyway, saturday should see Fab lead the line, with Song and Denilson.  Little Jack has one more game to serve for his red card suspension and Diaby seems to still be injured.

As a side note, Song’s toe score against ManCity is one more step in his progress.  Arsene obviously has a vision for Song.  Last season it was development as a defensive midfielder, this season Arsene wants Song to develop an offensive side to his game.  A true box-to-box player??? At this rate, in two years Song will be taking the free-kicks.  No matter.  There’s only One Song.

Defense

Unfortunately this is easy because of the injuries.  The Vermaelen-Koscielny partnership hasn’t taken root because Vermaelen is still injured -an RVP type injury, nobody knows when it will heal.  But Squillaci and Djourou have deputized well so far, even if there have been some bumps in the road, mostly because of Dj.  But Koscielny is back so expect a return of the Newcastle game tandem: Dj and Kos.

Sagna and Clichy round it out.  Gibbs is gone again for a few weeks.  This doesn’t bode well for the talented young man.  The RVP injury curse seems to have found another.

Goalkeepers

Fabianski has gone a long way to making the Gooner faithful, and the players, more confident.  Anyone else see the kiss he got on the back of the head after one of his saves.  I can’t remember which game, I think it was Song who did it.  His position between the sticks appears to be set, with Szczesny as backup.  And, after Fabianski’s solid performances there recently, I don’t expect any complaints there.

Final lineup

Fabianski
Clichy, Djourou, Koscielny, Sagna
Denilson, Fab, Song
Nasri, Bendtner, Arshavin

Charles Belle writes for Goons of Anarchy.